(If you are a potential employer and you’re stumbled upon this blog, Tangela is in no way responsible for today’s content. My, uh, her evil twin hacked into the blog. She’s a horrible typist.)
As I litter the Tulsa Metroplex with my resume, I pause to reflect on past bosses. I’ve had a couple of great bosses and quite a few really bad bosses. I have bosses that I don’t even remember. I loved that dude who was manager at Lane Bryant when I worked there during the 2000 Christmas season, but I can’t remember his name to save my life. I can remember almost every stinking detail about the bad ones!
The worst boss I ever had had cancer twice and it didn’t killer. Either time. She’s still alive and kicking. Evil must be the secret to a long life. She would roll up at the school still glowing from chemo and go into a shrill hissyfit. Who in their right mind would leave chemo and come to work? Who would leave chemo and start cussing people out? BossZilla. Instead of thanking teachers and students for their prayers, she’d say something like, “That bulletin board looks like s#%^” She was principal at the last school I ever taught in. She was the bile flavored icing on the cake that soured me to teaching in Montgomery County. I watched her peel a little first grader off of her when he hugged her- not because of the chemo, but because” his hands are nasty.”
There was only one thing me and this one could ever agree on: WE HATED EACH OTHER. She embarrassed me and my co-teacher once so badly in public that it brought me to tears. After that, the gloves were off. I tapped into my inner ghetto girl, and it was on and poppin like bacon grease in Granny’s cast iron skillet. I became walking defiance. More like sauntering, electric sliding defiance. The woman had a proven record of not tenuring black teachers. The school board knew it, the unnamed lobbying association knew it, and the three black teachers at the school knew it. Unlike the other black teachers at the school, I wasn’t afraid of her. I wasn’t afraid for my future. I wasn’t afraid for my job. I knew that she was going to non-renew my contract, but what she didn’t know is I had a copy of a memo she had written to an unnamed Administrator that specifically asked how she could get me moved without her having to deal with the “race issue.” Sidebar: Always be nice to the cleaning people, they can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. I filed a complaint with the Justice Department and the US Department of Education. There were at least 11 complaints filed against her for the same thing in 3 different school districts. I was offered 6 positions the following year; I turned them all down. She is now an Administrator in the Montgomery Public School System.
Tort Waiting to Happen Zilla
He called me “Nipples.” I was the most educated person that worked there, and he called me “Nipples.” I explained that I didn’t like to be called “Nipples.” I still can’t remember why I didn’t sue him.
You can’t be friends with your boss. It’s a recipe for disaster. You really don’t want to be getting all Jacked up with the person who can decide your fate. I had a boss who was very friendly at first. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for me at first. I was her favorite at work. It was no secret. I took advantage of our relationship, at times. Everything was fine-- until it wasn’t. She became jealous of the success I was having in our industry. She found out a company in Atlanta was scouting me to come work for them, and she got mad. She found out I was asked to present at a conference about African-Americans in the industry, and her not- black-at- all ass was furious! Then she fired me. I was crushed. I got over it, eventually.
Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I was a snot ball for a few weeks, but I learned a lot. I learned to be resourceful. I learned that I was strong. I learned that I don’t do well in captivity. I learned that after all those years of thinking I was a bad employee; I really was a bad employee. I’m from the era where you graduate high school, if you’re lucky enough to go to college-you go- and then you take the first job you’re offered, and stay there until you die. Nobody retired in my old hood. I was trained to play the game, but the training didn’t take. No one ever told me I could own my own business, when I was growing up. No one ever told me I could be an artist or actor or anything that required creativity or individuality. I raged against the machine from childhood. I had no idea why I was always in trouble for speaking my mind. I became a true threat in 6th grade when I did my first and only impersonation of my music teacher. She had it put in my permenant record that I was “smart and devilish and I had an attitude problem.”Pfffffft. (Eye roll, tooth suck, cobra neck)!!!!!!!
Armed with the knowledge I have now, would I have done things differently? Probably not. I see people that started their careers the same time I started mine, and some have really great jobs and lives. Others have fallen prey to greed and power. If I had changed a thing, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I have never been able to play the game well. I’ve never been able to just shut up and go along. I’m dyslexic which makes life hard for an avid reader and even harder for a secret writer. I’m a horrible typist. I’m impatient with people over 18 and under 65. I can do just about anything, but nothing that pays the bills. But, I’m great on the phone. I could always be a telemarketer, if I can get rid of this accent.
I believe one day I’ll be rewarded for doing my own thing. Funny is the only true talent God gave me. I don’t try to be funny. I just am. I try not to offend people. I try not to curse like a sailor. Shut UP! I try not to make my Mama ashamed. I try not to come across like one of those folks on Comic View. Trying to make a career out of making people think and making people laugh is a full time job. It’ll pay off. I’ll make it. And when you see me dressed to the nines, looking like a fluffy Halle Berry, sitting beside Oprah talking about my one-woman show on Broadway; you can say you remember when they used to call me nipples.
In the event I don’t make it on Oprah next week, and I have used you as a reference, just say the following things about me: She types 100 words per minute with 99% accuracy. She has a great attitude. She is a team player. She has never filed an EEOC complaint against anyone. She has never been in Girls Gone Wild. She would be an asset to your university/firm/strip club/convenience store.
Until next time, YeeHaw!